Cumberland Pencil Museum, England – Travel Short
My first thought when my cousins Jane and Tyrone told me they’re moving to London? FIELD TRIP TO THE M’THR F’IN PENCIL MUSEUM! Helloooooo – it’s been on my bucket list since I launched RAD AND HUNGRY back in 2010.
Visiting the Pencil Museum was the reason for the STMT X England sourcing trip (cousins a very close second!). Can you believe we almost missed it? Visiting hours for the museum were over by the time we rolled up. OVER??! No amount of begging worked. Gal at the register was not budging. We walked into the gift shop and in a state of shock, all I could do was blindly walk in circles. I couldn’t believe I trecked all the way from Seattle for this very moment and it wasn’t gonna happen. Jane and Tyrone quickly suggested that we change up our plans and stay in the area for the night so we could visit the next day. I was torn. I HAD to tour the museum but I didn’t think staying another night was ideal. We were close to the end of our road trip and there was so much more to see and do.
I wasn’t gonna give up, at least not yet. I walked up to an employee (she was lookin’ like the Boss Lady) and explained that I had come all the way from Seattle to visit the museum, and that I sell pencils for a living. Before I could even beg for entry, she asked if I had toured the museum. I replied no. Boss Lady pointed to the entrance and waved us in. Just. Like. That. My M’THR F’IN hero.
Moments later Boss Lady met us in the museum and pointed out the world’s longest colored pencil, massive nib collection, and more. There was so much history to learn – but it came second to the collection of vintage pencils. I was mesmerized by all the beautiful packaging – the letterforms, the design, the boxes, THE PENCILS! My heart raced – I wanted this visit to last forever.
I eventually worked my way back to the gift shop to hunt for something to bring back for RAHstrs. I scooped up maroon pencils that I haven’t seen online or in any art shops.
But I wanted more. What to do? Talk with the Boss Lady. And good thing I did! She hooked it up – pencils stamped with “Cumberland Pencil Museum, Keswick” for everyone!!